And I made a discovery: deep in a bottom drawer, hidden under a set of oil paints, was a gray binder. The cover featured a Scottish terrier with a red plaid bow. There was still paper inside the binder, white paper with faint blue lines set close together.
I took the binder to my father. My brother and I knew that the toys and games we found in the house on Chester Pike once belonged to him; he was the only child to have ever lived in the large house with its curving staircases and high ceilings. He was sitting in the kitchen with my grandfather, talking about things at Westinghouse—the company where they both worked—when I came in with the binder.
My father took it from my hands. “Ah, I remember this! I think I had it in fifth grade.” He ran his hand over the cover, and then gave it back to me. “You can have it if you want.” I held it to me, prized possession that it was, and ran back to the playroom with it. I was already imagining the feel of a pen in my hand, the flow of the ink as it met the white paper. In my imagination, a black Scottish terrier frolicked across the yard, meeting a girl with a red and white bow in her hair. Together, they solved mysteries.
I became a Teacher. When people asked me what I did, I said I was a teacher.
I am still a Teacher. And a Wife.And a Mother.And now a College Professor and a Literacy Specialist and an Instructional Coach. These are the roles I fulfill for other people.